Young lives on the Left

Sixties activism and the liberation of the self

By Celia Hughes

Young lives on the Left


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3377-9
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.00
  • Published Date: June 2019
  • BIC Category: Politics, Socialism & left-of-centre democratic ideologies, England, c 1960 to c 1969, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Communism, Post-Communism & Socialism, Society & social sciences / Socialism & left-of-centre democratic ideologies, Humanities / Social & cultural history


This book examines the coming of age experiences of young men and women who became active in radical Left circles in 1960s England. Based on a rich collection of oral history interviews, the book follows in depth the stories of approximately twenty individuals to offer a unique perspective of what it meant to be young and on the Left in the post-war landscape. The book will be essential reading for researchers of twentieth-century British social, cultural and political history. However, it will be of interest to a general readership interested in the social protest movements of the long 1960s.


'Hughes' book provides ballast for the ongoing historiographical project of moving beyond the hackneyed caricatures, slogans and images that still form our primary points of reference when discussing the 1960s. This makes Young lives on the Left a worthy addition to the growing body of work that's serving to build up a richer and more nuanced picture of the changes that took place during the mid-20th Century.'
Josh Allen, Journal of History and Cultures, Vol. 7, 2017


1. Post-war childhood and adolescence
2. Youth sub-cultures
3. The student movement and the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign
4. New Left politics and Women's Liberation
5. Adulthood and activism in the 1970s
6. Trotskyism and the revolutionary self
Select bibliography


Celia Hughes is Assistant Professor of Social and Cultural British History at the University of Copenhagen

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